The real reason The Weeknd’s face is still bloody and bruised

The Weeknd is an artist like no other, for better or worse. Born Abel Tesfaye, per Esquire, the brooding Canadian singer gained attention from critics (and from Drake) for his trio of mixtapes, which he re-released in 2012 as Trilogy. Then, in 2015, he broke into the mainstream like a gust of risqué wind with the BDSM-tinged single, “Earned It.” Though written for Fifty Shades of Grey, the song perhaps outshined the film, spending 29 weeks on the music charts and tying down an Oscar nomination. From there, the smooth-voiced Tesfaye kept the momentum rolling with mega-hits like “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.” 

But The Weeknd is as adept at hitmaking as he is keeping fans on his toes. “I just love hanging with my friends and making jokes. The jokes don’t stop — literally, all day,” he told Vanity Fair in 2015. Indeed — he released a surprise collaboration with the comparatively upbeat Daft Punk in 2016, made a dramatic film turn in 2019’s Uncut Gems, and in 2020, pulled perhaps his most unexpected move.

For his fourth album, After Hours, which got released in March 2020, The Weeknd emerged looking, ahem, different. Namely, wearing bloody makeup, nose bandages, and bruises for the album art, short film, and many of his live appearances. Yowza. “The Weeknd has been walking around with blood on his face for like 3 months now lol,” one fan tweeted. 

What’s truly strange about this situation? On Aug. 26, 2020, The Weeknd was spotted in bandages again, per the Daily MailSo what gives? We reveal the truth below.

The Weeknd's bruised look might be for the VMAs

The Weeknd, who was spotted still in bandages while in NYC in late August 2020, the joke (or performance art) is not getting old. In fact, the artist reportedly plans to don the bruised, red suit-and-gloved look for his MTV Video Music Awards performance on Aug. 30, 2020! Up for a total of six awards, per People, The Weeknd is ostensibly either prepping his performance or is on set, filming footage for the big live-stream event, as Just Jared predicted. At least that’s what it appears like, as he seemingly hasn’t gone outside without the signature outfit during his NYC stay. 

In a 2020 interview with Esquire, The Weeknd said that his song “Blinding Lights,” the lead single from After Hours, touches on drunk driving, which might explain why he looks so battered. It also reminds us of Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller look. 

Elaborating on the theme, the singer explained to Esquire, “‘Blinding Lights’ [is about] how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights. But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.” 

Motives for the look aside, we’re excited about The Weeknd’s performance! 

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